Can hip exercises help my knee pain?

Can hip exercises help my knee pain?

Health & Fitness Blog

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When it comes to having a sore knee, we know it can be a real pain.

It can get difficult to stand and walk for long periods.

Stairs often become harder to climb.

Going down hills and inclines are uncomfortable.

And more sporty pursuits can become problematic.

Some of you might have seen that on the weekend, our team hosted a group of Rheumatologists and Rheumatology registrars at our clinic (here are some pics!) One of my favourite parts of the weekend was helping our group of participants discover or re-discover their glutes!! There was plenty of moaning and wincing as our team of EP's helped our participants learn to bridge, crab walk, lunge, deadlift and more!

If it has been a while since you have trained the muscles around your hip, I hope this recent research might help compel you! Especially if you have knee pain, or have needed some treatment for a sore knee in the past.

This recent paper highlighted the value and impact that hip exercises can have on knee pain, in addition to a regular quadriceps strength program. What type of hip exercises I hear you ask? Thankfully the researchers were kind enough to point us in the right direction, and here they are in priority order.

1. Hip exercises including resistance (such as bands and weights). These exercises were most effective in improving pain and function.

2. Single leg tasks (step ups, step downs, single leg deadlifts). These helped improve walking tolerance and the ability to climb stairs.

3. Multimodal exercises (meaning a combination of the above) were not any better that a standard quadricep strengthening program.

So in summary, this is yet another piece of evidence which reinforces the idea that any exercises given need to be tailored and specific. It acts as a good reminder that us clinicians need to consider the TYPE of movements that we prescribe, especially if we want to help our clients achieve the best short and long term outcomes. The evidence makes it clear that we need to continue to look beyond the site of pain (the knee in this instance) if we are to help our clients improve their walking and function.

So with all that in mind...apologies to all of our clients reading this :) It means that those deadlifts, crab walks and reverse lunges are here to stay!! 

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